Getting my children excited about healthy food is one of my greatest goals. It’s my personal belief (and scientifically studied) that healthy eating can have a powerful impact on every aspect of our lives. So, I try to incorporate healthy food into learning activities with my toddlers. This healthy food fine motor toddler activity involves veggies! It’s the Carrot Beading Toddler Fine Motor Skills Activity. Woo!
My girls have been protesting their veggies more than normal lately. Maybe it’s because our variety has gone down at the grocery store or they’re just asserting their independent thinking, but gosh it is stressing me out!
So in an attempt to get them more excited about their veggies, I’ve come up with this fine motor activity.
Yes, this may be a completely silly idea, but the girls actually liked it! And to my delight, I caught my older daughter with cheeks full of carrots!
I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’ve lost my mind…running around hole punching what ever veggies I find. However, this craziness has led me to discover that carrots are definitely the superior vegetable when it comes to beading.
Bell peppers are a little thick when you cut them (hard to hole punch). Potatoes are bitter when raw and too soft when cooked. Zucchinni isn’t so tasty raw and is weirdly sticky… the list goes on.
Carrots are the winner!
Carrots are tasty and nutritious raw or cooked. They come in a variety of colors. and easily cut to the correct size and maintain shape when cooked. These root vegetables are pretty much available year round. And they are easily added to all kinds of recipes.
Another great bonus to this activity is that you don’t need any fancy supplies. We currently live in a 900 sq foot house with very little room for craft storage. Whenever I bring home a new craft or activity supply I can just see the barely-suppressed-groan trying to escape my husband’s throat. Luckily for him, all the supplies for this activity are edible and are already stored in a place that isn’t the limited counter space.
How to Setup the Carrot Beading Fine Motor Skills Toddler Activity
I recommend doing this activity with carrots and noodles.
I have a variety of noodles in my over-stocked pantry for sensory and play activities. Uncooked spaghetti and long noodles make great noodle towers. Short noodles such as spaetzle are great for shorter bead chains. Cooked spaghetti noodles can easily be tied for knot at the end to hold carrots and offer a different texture and challenge for your toddler.
This is definitely a taste-encouraged sensory activity.
- Noodles, cooked or raw
- Carrots (or vegetable of your choice) cooked or raw
- Hole Punch–thoroughly washed for meal preparation.
Prepping the Carrot Beads
Start with raw carrots, it makes this easier. Cut the carrots into slices about 1/8-1/4inch thick. You will be punching a hole in the carrot so your toddler can thread it over the noodle. I recommend punching a hole as close to the center of the carrot. The center of the carrot is softer than the outer portions of the carrot. The closer to the center of the carrot you are less likely to split the side of the carrot.
Temporarily remove the punch collector on the back of the hole punch. The carrots really jam this up. Punch a hole in each slice of carrot.
For an added activity keep the “carrot holes.” Give them to your toddler with the beads and encourage them to see if they can fit the holes back into the carrots.
I tried this activity with the raw carrots first. The second time around I steamed the carrots and placed them on cooked noodles so that my toddlers could easily eat every piece.
Carrot Noodle Tower
If you want to make noodle and carrot towers with uncooked spaghetti noodles, check out how to set it up in this other fine-motor activity (opens in a new window). These are a great way to help your toddler complete the activity.
Short-Noodle Carrot Necklaces
One of my favorite ways to make home-made chicken noodle soup is with spaetzle. It’s a sturdy noodle that cooks to have a firm texture. Cooked carrots are a must in chicken noodle soup so adding these noodles with carrot rings is a great way to get the girls involved in cooking real recipes.
This activity offers more of a challenge than the noodle towers or short noodle necklaces. Cooking the noodles adds to the need for precise fine motor skills as they are more flexible and are slippery. It’s also great because your little one can eat every piece of the activity without.
Cook spaghetti to al dente(whole wheat for health!). Steam the carrot beads. Tie a knot on one end of each piece of spaghetti.
Show your little one what to do and let them at it!
Thank you for reading! I greatly appreciate your interest in this activity! Please leave a comment below and tell me how it went. I hope your children enjoy and start enjoying their carrots!
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